Tasting chocolate might be a very serious business, but before anything else, we recommend you to have fun.
- The place : chose a quiet place, tempered, not too luminous where you can easily concentrate.
- The time : each one has its privileged moment to best taste. It can be in the morning, mid-morning or in the afternoon. Only make sure your palate is in condition and it is not before or after a meal. To rince your palate you have several options. Our recommendation is a green tea. Beware of not drinking too hot which might alterate your sensations. The heat dissolves the fat contained in chocolate and helps clean your palate.
- Tasting :
First step : make a visual analysis of the chocolate. What does it look like (visual aspect)? Its color ? Its shininess ? ...
Second step: smell the chocolate. At the nose you must experience the first aromatic notes. This step also allows detecting an eventual default (paper smell, ink…).
Third step: break a piece of chocolate. It should clearly snap with a sharp noise.
Fourth step: put a piece of chocolate in your mouth. Bite once to break it, and then let it melt in your mouth to allow the aromas to develop. During this step you also can open your mouth to inhale (same as when you taste wine) to increase the sensation.
Fifth step: analyze what your feel and the length of the aromas. The more persistent it is, the more we say it is long lasting or has a long finish. You might detect fruit aromas - red fruits for Malagasy cocoa, floral aromas or spices.
Do not confuse bitterness and acidity. Bitterness is a default in chocolate. Acidity is a characteristic of chocolate and it is extremely pronounced in certain cocoa origin such as Madagascar.